News, Notes and Votes
1. RLS and SHES Safe School Ambassadors
SHES Safe School Ambassadors
Several members of the Safe School Ambassadors (SSA) from St. Helena Elementary School and RLS Middle School made a presentation to the Board. Principal Mark Arnold advised that there are 22 students from SHES in the SSA program. 4th Grade Teacher Dana Sabin, along with 5th Grade Teacher Ashley Wright, announced the SSA students who were present at the Board Meeting as well as those who were unable to attend. Each student introduced themselves and explained how the SSA Program is teaching them leadership and how to help prevent bullying so everyone fits in and feels safe. The SSA’s at SHES will be working on events to promote Red Ribbon Week. They also played a game of “Support the Target” with the Board.
RLS Counselor Terry O’Leary, who advised there are 44 Ambassadors at RLS, announced the RLS Safe School Ambassadors in attendance at the Board Meeting. The Ambassadors introduced themselves and explained some of the events they do at RLS to promote everyone socializing together; for example, “Mix it Up Day,” which is held 3-4 times each year. On these days, students sit with other students they do not normally sit with in order to promote making new friends and learning to appreciate everyone.
2. CalSTAT Award to SHHS for Special Education Transition Program
Dr. Cindy Toews announced that the SHHS Special Education Transition Program had won the CalSTAT Award. The program has been awarded $10,000 as well as various resources for them to use to train other districts throughout the State on this program. Dr. Toews introduced RLS/SHS Speech Language Pathologist Nick Joy and SHHS Special Education Teacher Lisa Marie Hough, who made a detailed, informative presentation to the Board outlining the various
aspects of the Special Education Transition Program, which they created to lead students to a successful transition into adult life. As winners of the CalSTAT Award, Nick and Lisa Marie will be participating in webinars, workshops, and conferences to train others about their program. They will also be providing on-site tours of their program at the High School campus.
3. Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Results
On October 11, 2012, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the results of the California Standards Test (CST), California Modified Assessment (CMA), and the California Alternative Performance Assessment (CAPA) as part of the STAR program. Dr. Cindy Toews presented the disaggregated Academic Performance Index (API) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measures for St. Helena Unified School District in detail along with a comparative analysis of other similar districts in relation to demographics and/or resources.
4. District of Choice Annual Report
As required by Board Policy 5117, Superintendent McGuire presented the Annual District of Choice Report. This year we have 130 District of Choice students, compared to 151 IDA students last year.
Superintendent McGuire informed the Board that, for the 2012-13 school year, nine (9) District of Choice requests were granted; fourteen (14) District of Choice requests were denied because the enrollment caps were reached; six (6) District of Choice requests were withdrawn; and a total of twenty-nine (29) District of Choice applications were received. In addition, seventeen (17) students transferred out of the District.
5. Update on RLS Middle School Modernization Phase 2
Director of Facilities Dan Banowetz, along with WLC Architects Kevin MacQuarrie and Jackie Bassman, outlined all aspects of the RLS Middle School Modernization Phase 2, which includes a new kitchen and serving area, new storage areas, a covered outdoor eating area, and new pavers in the quad area. The cover over the outdoor eating area will have solar panels on top of it. WLC will be submitting the plans for this project to the Department of State Architect next month, and they expect the work to begin in early 2013.
6. Transportation Route Update
CBO Greg Medici presented updated information to the Board in answer to the various questions that arose at the September Board Meeting regarding the discontinued bus routes to Angwin, Berryessa, and Oakville Grade, providing specific information about costs and ridership. At Trustee Kerr’s suggestion, Superintendent McGuire will investigate the possibility of establishing a “park out” at Berryessa, where the bus would be parked overnight near the last afternoon stop in Berryessa, which would be the first stop in the morning.
7. Approval of District Organizational Chart and Duties Related to Certificated and Classified Employees.
The Board approved the District Organization Chart and duties related to Certificated and Classified Employees. Superintendent McGuire had previously explained that these changes were a result of suggestions made by School Services of California in the recent study they did of the District’s HR Department. He also advised that the Budget Committee had reviewed and recommended Board approval these modifications, commenting that the District will be